Illuminatin' Sweeney

Skip Sweeney

1975 | 00:28:38 | United States | None | Color | Mono |

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Image Processing, Video History

Skip Sweeney was an early and proficient experimenter with video feedback. A feedback loop is produced by pointing a camera at the monitor to which it is cabled. Infinite patterns and variations of feedback can be derived from manipulating the relative positions of camera and monitor, adjusting the monitor control, becoming a swirling vortex. Sweeney and others were intrigued with feedback's ability to generate pulsing images like a living organism. He claimed he would "just as soon be a video rock-and-roll musician" and produce feedback as a performance instrument (Anthology Film Archives, 1981). Sweeney produced many variations of feedback and processed imagery, and is especially noted for his works incorporating dance and movement.

Illuminatin' Sweeney was produced for WNET New York's Video and Television Review. This video shows feedback processed through a combination of a Moog audio synthesizer and the Vidium colorizing synthesizer invented by Bill Hearn in 1969. Recorded off the monitor with a black and white camera, the images were later colorized. Sweeney produced this feedback during a "video jam session" at Video Free America.

The total running time for this piece is 28:38. An excerpt of this title (5:00) is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 2.

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